Arinc Direct Aims Xplore Satcom Box At Helicopters
Arinc Direct is at LABACE with the prospect of a merger of its parent company with Rockwell Collins in the offing, subject to regulatory approval. It is something that would provide significant opportunities for both companies in the online flight planning and support business, admitted Arinc Direct senior director of sales Joel Ehrman. “We can’t even talk about it yet,” he told AIN. “It’s still got to be approved by regulators,” which is expected 90 days after the initial August 11 announcement. “So it’s business as usual until the sale completes. But there are a lot of potential synergies,” he concluded.
Rockwell Collins is also here at LABACE (Booth 2007), showcasing its business aviation aftermarket and flight services solutions–including its Ascend flight information solutions.
Arinc Direct (Stand 2008) has offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Toluca, Mexico. According to Ehrman, Arinc Direct will open an office in Brazil “within the next 12 months.”
Ehrman would not say how many Latin American or Brazilian users of Arinc Direct it has but would only state the company’s worldwide total of “over 3,100 aircraft.” However, he said the company’s early users include big names such as TAM and Líder, “some of the largest charter companies in Brazil.” He added that “the customer base now ranges from Mustangs and King Air 350s all the way up to [Boeing] 737s–the full range of the corporate aircraft market.”
The iPad App has proved particularly popular, said Ehrman, and the company is working to extend to its app the weight-and-balance and flight plan functionality that can be accomplished online, he said.
The company is “looking at helicopters as the next generation for us,” said Ehrman, in particular because it is anticipating that, when its new Xplore connecting box is certified, iPads and other devices in the cockpit will be able to be linked easily to Iridium satellite services. This, he said, will prove very attractive for helicopters used in the burgeoning offshore oil industry.
Arinc Direct is also pursuing opportunities in the light aviation sector, with huge potential markets in both the U.S. and Brazil, said Ehrman.
In Brazil, Ehrman said, “The major thing here is everyone’s ramping up for the World Cup and Olympics in Rio,” and this should see major improvements in infrastructure and activity, where services such as Arinc Direct’s will vastly improve the lives of operators and their pilots.